Tab Benoit

Tab Benoit

Benoit is an American blues guitarist, musician and singer. His playing combines a number of blues styles, primarily Delta blues. He plays a Fender Telecaster Thinline electric guitar and writes his own musical compositions. An environmental activist as well as a stellar blues musician, Benoit has made the preservation of the endangered delta wetlands his personal crusade. In 2003, he formed "Voice of the Wetlands," an organization promoting awareness of coastal wetlands preservation.

Born November 17, 1967, Benoit grew up in Houma, Louisiana. A guitar player since his teenage years, he played guitar alongside Thomas, Raful Neal, Henry Gray and other high-profile regulars at the club. The nightly impromptu gigs were enough to inspire Benoit to assemble his own band and he took his show on the road in the early ‘90s and hasn’t stopped since.

Benoit landed a recording contract with the tiny, Texas-based Justice Records and released a series of well-received recordings, beginning in 1992 with Nice and Warm, an album that prompted comparisons to blues guitar heavyweights like Albert King, Albert Collins and even Jimi Hendrix. Despite the hype, Benoit has done his best over the years to maintain a commitment to his Cajun roots – a goal that often eluded him when past producers and promoters tried to turn him and his recordings in a rock direction, often against his better instincts. These Blues Are All Mine, released on Vanguard in 1999 after Justice folded, marked a return to the rootsy sound that he’d been steered away from for several years.

After several releases 2005 saw Fever for the Bayou, a straight up Louisiana blues recording that seamlessly merges his own songcraft with that of Elmore James, Buddy Guy and other masters. Fever for the Bayou also includes guest appearances by Cyril Neville (vocals and percussion) and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux (vocals).

Benoit dug further into his roots in 2006 with the release of Brother to the Blue. Joining him on the project are members of the cult blues/R&B/rock combo Louisiaina LeRoux, veteran country songwriter Billy Joe Shaver, Americana pioneer Jim Lauderdale and Cajun fiddler Waylon Thibodeaux. Brother to the Blues received a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album.

In 2007, Benoit won the dual awards of B.B. King Entertainer of the Year and Best Contemporary Male Performer at the Blues Music Awards (formerly the W.C. Handy Awards) in Memphis.

Benoit’s 2008 release, Night Train to Nashville, was recorded in May 2007. The set captures the magic and intensity of Benoit in a live setting and a series of guests representing some of the most talented voices on the current blues, Cajun and country scenes: harpist/vocalist Jimmy Hall (Wet Willie), guitarist/vocalist Jim Lauderdale, harpist/accordionist Johnny Sansone, fiddler/washboard player Waylon Thibodeaux and harpist/vocalist and Fabulous Thunderbirds frontman Kim Wilson.

2012, Benoit won three separate Blues Music Awards: Contemporary Blues Male Artist; Contemporary Blues Album (for 2011's Medicine); and for the second time, B.B. King Entertainer of the Year. 2013 saw Benoit win the Blues Music Awards Contemporary Blues Male Artist for the second year in a row.

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